Obligatory disclaimer: I have not played the VN, so this post is written from a more “neutral” standpoint.
Honest opinion straight up me? Decent. I have read comments from both sides – it being rushed and on the other hand staying faithful. My own take on this episode was that it wasn’t rushed (more on that later), the pacing was alright. There are some notably visible downsides however.
If there is something strange in your neighbourhood, who ya gonna call?
Ghost busters! Little Busters! He’s back guys! Um who? Natsume Kyousuke (Midorikawa Hikaru), ringleader of LB is back! Um..ok? I’m not sure if something was cut from the original VN, but the order of events didn’t flow very smoothly for the first few minutes or so. Presumably this was actually what happened from the main character Naoe Riki’s POV (Horie Yui) in the VN itself, which is fine. However by changing it into a third person view instead of a first person view, it felt kinda disjointed – the portion where the members are squabbling like it is normal for them to do so. Again, I presume the fighting part was supposed to be funny, but it sort of missed the mark for me.
Next, was the flashback to the origins of how the term LB came about, which reminded me of AnoHana more than anything else. Of course, there has to be some sort of central story right? The group LB is now officially revived! And their new objective is to…play baseball. Alright! Wait what? I’m just as confused as all the other members are, after listening to Kyousuke’s explanation, I still remained confused. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, part of the confusion cleared when Kyousuke declared that they needed to recruit more members as it is a basic requirement for a baseball club to operate. More specifically – female members to balance it up. I see what you did there now.
- Potential new member #1 Sasasegawa Sasami (sa…) – Ojou-sama type, I like.
- Potential new member #2 UNKNOWN – Uh..yeah her identity wasn’t revealed so I’m just leaving it as it is. Has a weird hobby/habit of eating sweet stuff on the rooftops.
Sometimes (or all the time), I have no idea why people judge a whole series based off the first episode alone – it just doesn’t make sense. I mean, it isn’t fair to write any series off after only a single episode. (There are exceptions though?) Case in point: The real plot for LB has yet to come into the picture, the main characters are only being introduced at this stage. As we all know (or at least now you do), Key VNs have the reputation of being tear-jerkers. This was the key reason (pun intended) why many people, especially those who have played the VN, looked forward to this adaptation, possibly having high expectations in the process as well. Sometimes I feel that having knowledge of the source material spoils the viewing experience a little, in that it inevitably causes comparison between both versions, in which usually the original source material is always superior. That’s just how it works.
Moving on, earlier on I said that I felt this episode’s pacing was alright, reason being that the introductions are usually boring but oh so mandatory. They have to get viewers acquainted with the characters before moving on to the main story itself, which I really wonder how it will turn out to be. Therefore, I’m not surprised to hear people saying that it was rushed, so and so was cut, etc. For the non-VN players, those aren’t as important as the plot itself. More importantly, in most adaptations, content being cut is almost a given considering they only have so much room to squeeze in everything. Moral of the story – don’t sweat the small stuff.
The downsides? My only real gripe is the animation itself. People have been lambasting J.C Staff for doing the adaptation over favourites KyoAni, I don’t blame them. Everything could have looked way better if KyoAni was at helm. However, at the end of the day it is the story that interests me the most. So as long as the adaptation remains faithful, without screwing up this aspect I would say that the adaptation is successful overall. The music, if I am not mistaken was kept closely to the original VN, or at least it sounded very VN-esque.
Verdict: Decent episode on the overall, animation quality could really use improvement or consistency, but as long as the whole story is adapted faithfully, I’m satisfied.
- Horie Yui for the male lead? I guess they really needed someone high-profile or feminine sounding?
- The jokes so far are either hit or miss for me.
- Now imagine if KyoAni was in-charge, what would this shot at the end could have been?